What does it mean to be open in a data-driven world?
On January 11, 2011, we gathered together four knowledgeable individuals who interact with data in different ways and who each understand the importance of exploring this timely question. The result was a stellar CC Salon at LinkedIn Headquarters.
You can now watch the video from the event, which included brief presentations from Internet Archive’s Peter Brantley, LinkedIn’s DJ Patil, and 3taps’ Karen Gifford, as well as a panel discussion moderated by O’Reilly Media’s Tim O’Reilly. View it now!
Also see our post today on Creative Commons tools, data, and databases.Comments Off
Adam Singer is a musician and “social media guru” who used his expertise in both fields to find a more harmonious means of online promotion. As a relatively “unknown artist”, Singer saw little return on efforts to profit from his works as CDs and digital downloads, selling only a few copies with “mixed results”. It was at this point that Singer chose to release his music under a CC BY-NC license.
The choice was not motivated from a promotional standpoint – Singer turned to CC licensing after the “realization [he] would rather have [his] music reach more ears as the money [he] was making was worth far less than the joy of being able to share it with others” – but it spurred unintended promotional results. A recent post on TheFutureBuzz outlines the results of Singer’s choice – soon, he found his music appearing on music blogs, had people on Twitter soliciting him for original music for video, had his music featured on online web radio shows, saw a fan remix video pop-up on YouTube, and saw traffic to his MySpace page increase dramatically.
It is obvious to those who listen that Singer’s music is of high-quality, but by encouraging the free sharing and reuse of this music he was able to reach a far greater audience than he had previously. The story, heard many times before in a variety of incarnations, brings about echoes of Tim O’Reilly:
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Obscurity is a far greater threat to authors and creative artists than piracy.
At the Program for the Future conference, Creative Commons received the first Collective Intelligence Recognition Award for an organization. Tim O’Reilly received the first individual award. From the press release (pdf):
The awards were presented by renowned computer visionary and inventor Douglas Engelbart and Robert Stephenson, curator at The Tech Museum of Innovation. Said Engelbart: “Along the digital frontier, we rely on our scouts to explore the terrain and exchange information at the trading posts. Tim O’Reilly has set up the ‘Internet Pony Express’ to broadcast the possibilities of Open Source and Web 2.0 to the rest of the world. Creative Commons has begun the development of ‘trading post’ rules for us to collectively work together in developing and applying knowledge to solve complex urgent problems. On the 40th anniversary of The Demo, I am happy to recognize both for their demonstrated contributions to increasing our collective intelligence. Great stuff!
The conference celebrated the 40th anniversary of Engelbart’s groundbreaking demo, with the broader theme of increasing collective intelligence — Engelbart’s life work — for solutions to human problems. There was a broad sense among attendees that our collective memory is too short, but the future is hopeful if we consciously build tools to help us (“bootstrap tools” in the parlance), and that mass collaboration and building the commons have critical roles to play.
Unsurprisingly, many of the conversations sparked by the conference had to do with learning. One poll of attendees found that those who had read Engelbart’s papers were far more likely to believe that education could be radically changed for the better. Tim O’Reilly blogged a conversation on one important aspect of learning — practice.
Recall that CC’s annual fundraising campaign is nearing completion — now is the time to support our work to raise collective intelligence!Comments Off
Change.gov, the website of US president-elect Barack Obama’s transition team, has undergone some important and exciting changes over the past few days. Among them is the site’s new copyright notice, which expresses that the bulk of Change.gov is published under the most permissive of Creative Commons copyright licenses – CC BY.
Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Content includes all materials posted by the Obama-Biden Transition project. Visitors to this website agree to grant a non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license to the rest of the world for their submissions to Change.gov under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
This is great news and a encouraging sign that the new administration has a clear sense of the importance of openness in government and on the web (there’s a bit more on this over at Lessig’s blog). The embrace of Creative Commons licensing on Change.gov is consistent with earlier support by both Obama and McCain for the idea of “open debates.” (It’s also in line with Obama’s decision to publish the pictures in his Flickr Photostream under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license – pretty cool!)
Tim O’Reilly has written a smart post (which has elicited some very thoughtful reader comments) recommending that Change.gov use revision control as a way to further improve transparency and make it possible for the public to review any changes that occur on the site. Of course, licensing is just one component of openness, but getting licensing right is necessary for enabling people to truly take advantage of technologies that facilitate collaboration.
Update: Several people have pointed out that “works created by an agency of the United States government are public domain at the moment of creation” (see Wikipedia for more on this). Change.gov is not currently the project of a government agency, but a 501(c)(4) that has been set up to manage the Obama-Biden transition. Also, the public is being invited to contribute their own comments and works to the site, and it is important to have a clear marking of the permissions that other people have to this material.
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I’m about to head over to the first day of the Web 2.0 Expo in New York City. Creative Commons has a booth in the non-profit pavilion, so if you are at the conference and you’d like some swag (including some of the highly sought after CC vinyl stickers) or just want to say ‘Hi’, don’t hesitate to drop by!Comments Off